What is Prevent?

Prevent is about safeguarding people and communities from the threat of terrorism. Prevent is 1 of the 4 elements of CONTEST, the governments counter-terrorism strategy. It aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.  


CONTEST – The UK’s Strategy for Counter-Terrorism has four strands often known as the four Ps:

  • Prevent: To stop people becoming terrorists or supporting violent extremism.
  • Pursue: To stop terrorist attacks through disruption, investigation and detection.
  • Prepare: Where an attack cannot be stopped, to mitigate its impact.
  • Protect: To strengthen against terrorist attack, including borders, utilities, transport infrastructure and crowded places. 

The Prevent Strategy

The Government Prevent Strategy

  • Responds to the ideological challenge we face from terrorism and aspects of extremism, and the threat we face from those who promote these views.
  • Provides practical help to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure they are given appropriate advice and support
  • Works with a wide range of sectors (including education, criminal justice, faith, charities, online and health) where there are risks of radicalisation that we need to deal with.

Prevent covers all forms of terrorism and extremism and some aspects of non-violent extremism. The Home Office works with local authorities, a wide range of government departments, and community organisations to deliver the Prevent Strategy. The police also play a significant role in prevent, in much the same way was as they do when taking a preventative approach to other crimes.



Prevent operates in a pre-criminal space, providing support and re-direction to vulnerable individuals at risk of being groomed into terrorist activities before any crimes are committed. Radicalisation could be comparable to other forms of harm and abuse. It is therefore considered a safeguarding issue and thought of alongside the wider safeguarding agenda.

It is set up to challenge all forms of terrorism, including the influence of far right extremists. It defines extremism as “vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs”.


Prevent defines extremism as: “vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We also include in our definition of extremism calls for the death of members of our armed forces”


Radicalisation is defined by the UK government within this context as “the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and extremist ideologies associated with terrorist groups.”


Channel is a multi-agency programme which provides support to individuals who are at risk of being drawn into terrorism. Channel provides a mechanism at an early stage, for assessing and supporting people who may be targeted / or radicalised by violent extremists. 

Milton Keynes has an established Channel Panel. This meets on a monthly basis in a secure environment to discuss cases of concern.

It reports into the Prevent group and is chaired by Milton Keynes City Council. Membership of the panel is multi-agency ensuring that individuals have access to a wide range of support and diversionary activities including access to education, housing and employment.

The role of the panel is to review referred cases, assess the nature and extent of the identified risk; and develop the most appropriate support plan for the individuals concerned. Channel is about partnerships and communities working together to support vulnerable people at an early stage, it is not about reporting on individuals in order to prosecute them.

Following a referral all relevant agencies/organisations working with the individual will be invited to attend and form part of the support plan in place for the person.

How to report a concern

In an emergency, always call 999

Professionals can raise a concern by

For general Prevent enquiries within Thames Valley, or for advice on completing the National Referral Form, contact

More Information 

Community Safety Team contact information